LYNNWOOD — The top two 4A teams in the Western Conference South threw everything they had against division-leading Meadowdale last week but it still wasn’t enough.
The top-ranked 3A team in the state kept its perfect league record intact with victories over Edmonds-Woodway and Kamiak.
The Mavericks dispatched the Warriors 74-60 in an emotionally-charged Feb. 4 contest and then defeated Kamiak 60-41 in a Feb. 6 matchup that was closer than the score indicated, at least in the first half.
Two days after her team defeated Edmonds-Woodway, Meadowdale coach Karen Blair was concerned about how the Mavericks would respond against the Knights.
“It’s tough for kids when you get on that emotional high to be able to try and get back,” Blair said.
Meadowdale looked sharp in the first quarter, jumping to a 9-0 lead and taking an 18-10 lead into the second quarter.
Senior guard Anne Martin scored eight of her game-high 23 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, in the first quarter.
“I think Anne carried us the first half,” Blair said.
The Mavericks extended their lead to 11 points early in the second quarter before the Knights rallied to cut the deficit to 28-23 at halftime.
“I think we were just kind of fatigued,” Martin said. “There was kind of a lot of emotional effort put into the Woodway game because it’s just a huge rivalry. I just think we were a little tired from that game.”
Blair wasn’t surprised that Kamiak battled back.
“We knew they would and we had some lapses and they capitalized, which is what really good teams do,” Blair said.
At halftime, Blair told her team to step up the defensive pressure, which in turn led to some turnovers and Meadowdale baskets.
The Mavericks extended their lead to 46-31 with an 8-0 run at the end of the third quarter.
“We just stepped up our defensive pressure a lot,” Martin said. “That’s what really worked and we just talked a lot about being patient.”
Meadowdale wasn’t at full strength against the Knights.
Freshman Marelle Moehrle was out due to an illness and junior point guard Ashley Fenimore missed practice a day earlier also due to a sickness and did not start, though she was inserted later in the game.
“It shows that we can play through some adversity,” Blair said. “When they had to, they really buckled down and focused and got it done. We knew that Edmonds-Woodway and Kamiak … have great players, good athletes and are very well coached. So we knew that they would throw lots of different things at us and our kids did a good job of adjusting.”
Meadowdale wrapped up a busy week with a 68-28 rout over crosstown rival Lynnwood on Feb. 7.
The Mavericks (16-0 in the league, 17-1 overall), who have already clinched a district playoff berth, wrap up the regular season with a 7:30 game tonight (Friday, Feb. 13) at Meadowdale High School.
The Northwest District 3A playoffs start on Feb. 18.
The Mavericks still have some fine-tuning to do before the postseason, according to Martin.
“We kind of just haven’t really come together as much on the court as we wanted to,” she said. “I think we’ve just been playing a little sloppy lately and we just want to pull together and work hard in practice and get it done.”
As a No. 2 seed to districts, Meadowdale will host a first-round game against the seventh seed, which will either be Ferndale or Bellingham.
“We’re not sure who in the first round we’re going to have,” Blair said. “So we’re got to really focus on ourselves and what we need to do to get better and prepare for anything and everything.”
SENIOR HONORS: Meadowdale seniors Quinn Brewe and Anne Martin are among the 2,500 high school seniors from across the country that have been nominated for the 2004 McDonald’s All-American game. The third annual girls game will be played March 31 in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The 2003 McDonald’s All American teams will be announced in February on ESPN’s SportsCenter.